Question: My 3 month old cries immediately whenever I put him on his tummy for the required "tummy time" of 20 minutes each day.
He's holding his head up when I carry him, but when I put him on his belly, he just plants his face straight down and shakes his head back and forth. Once in a while he gets mad enough to push up on his forearms, but that's about it.
I let this go on for about 5 minutes and then I pick him up at which point he is so miserable it takes forever to calm him down.
I've tried getting on the floor with him, giving him toys, rubbing his back, putting him on the bed so he's more level with me, but to no avail.
What to do?
Baby Help Line Response:
Tips For Baby That Hates Tummy Time
First of all, don't force the tummy time, it obviously makes both your baby and you miserable. Babies learn to hold their heads one way or the other.
Maybe your boy will sit early and crawl late, but that doesn't really matter. Or, in a few weeks, he has gained enough strength to start enjoying some tummy time.
Here are a few tips on easier ways to have some tummy time for your baby:
Put your baby belly down on a relatively firm pillow with his feet on the floor, so that his face is automatically lifted off the ground. That position is not as hard for the young babies and with MOM in front of him singing or making funny faces, he might just endure some of his so hated tummy time. A mirror might also be fun.
Another tip is to visit a play group, where he can watch other babies and kids carwling around. Many young babies find that interesting enough to endure some tummy time.
If your baby enjoys bathing, you can also consider a baby swim class. You baby will obviously be more or less belly down, neck up without even knowing.
Finally, putting him in a baby carrier, facing the world instead of your chest, will force him to use his neck muscles. And it can be quite exciting too for a curious little baby.